NY Times: Transgender Kids’ Lit ‘Part of Fabric of Who We Are’

Gray Lady welcomes trans titles for children.

Bet you didn’t know there was a transgender “void” in the children’s literature market. Well there was, but we can relax. According to an article in The New York Times, transgender themes have now joined the line up of “difficult issues like suicide, drug abuse, rape and sex trafficking” as topics in children’s and young adult books. 

It may come as a surprise that juvenile literature has not reflected the intensive celebration of transgender issues on TV. After all, in 2009 alone, over 40 pro-gay books were awarded by the American Library Association (ALA), so gender confusion couldn’t be far behind, right? Yet until recently, transgender themes have been rarely addressed by mainstream publishers. Now, that’s changing … just when you thought it couldn’t get any worse. 

“Children’s literature is catching up to the broader culture,” The Times’ Alexandra Atler wrote approvingly. She quoted Scholastic Press Vice President David Levithan, saying, “As our culture is starting to acknowledge transgender people and acknowledge that they are part of the fabric of who we are, literature is reflecting that.” 

Of course, literature and other media don’t merely reflect. They also shape and foster. By normalizing deviant behaviors, media desensitizes consumers, inculcates specific values (or lack thereof) and present children, who are especially impressionable, with topics for which they are not yet ready. 

The Times, however, sees no downside. In addition to Levithan, Atler quoted authors of transgender books and said they cited “child psychologists and L.G.B.T. advocacy groups” in believing that “very young children can question their gender identity” and “that families should be open to discussing the subject.” She quoted no parents, mental health professionals, educators or anyone else who wasn’t enthusiastic about introducing transgender to schoolchildren. 

Well, that’s not strictly true. Atler did quote some random Amazon reviews of the book I am Jazz. which deemed it “inappropriate material for young readers.” Another review stated: “We should not be indoctrinating young kids about ‘trans.’” 

Could anything be more indicative of the state of journalism at The Times or its contempt for the benighted flyover folk that Atler didn’t feel the need to actually talk to any dissenters? Or that her editors saw arbitrarily lifting anonymous Internet reviews as acceptable practice? 

But Transagenda trumps all, and not just at The Times. NBC Nightly News recently aired a two-night cheerleading report on “brave” children who are being raised transgender, and featured Dr. Michelle Forcier, who promotes early puberty intervention for children who desire to make a gender transition. 

Why start so early? One of the young adult books mentioned in the article is entitled “Rethinking Normal.” That pretty much sums it up.